Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(January 1999)
 

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Subject: Re: Spam Police
From: Ivan Pope <ivan @ netnames . com>
Date: Sun, 31 Jan 1999 10:09:31 +0000
To: murr rhame <murr @ vnet . net>
Cc: list-managers @ GreatCircle . COM

>Yup.  Put another way, you have the right to speak.  You don't have
>the right to hijack a captive audience and force them to listen.
>Same principle applies to off-topic posts on some mailing lists.

Let's take another view on this. We all do and always receive emails that
we don't want - so we delete them. We also all receive emails that we
didn't ask for but that we want - Great Aunt Edna, for example.
So how do we define Spam? How do we draw a distinction between emails that
we didn't ask for and don't want and emails that we did ask for and do want?
I am still waiting for someone to post a definition of spam. Does it occur
when someone sends more than two emails? More than a million? Commercial
messages? Unsolicited commercial messages?
I believe that if we are ready to accept a single unsolicited message, then
we are effectively signalling that we are ready to accept many more. We all
have our strategies to deal with this.
It seems that you want to cure the 'problem' at a higher levels, i.e. by
shutting off access for some people to the networks. And that is a free
speech issue, whether you like it or not.
What happens when the Vixie RBL starts to list political sites, or race
hate sites, or religious sites, or whatever the people who control it
decide they have had enough of?
I think the Internet will soon cure the spam 'problem' by creating a new
generation of tools, rather than by taking a blunt instrument to it.
Ivan


Follow-Ups:
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